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Case Reports in Emergency Medicine
Volume 2014, Article ID 173810, 4 pages
Case Report

Use of Ultrasound to Diagnose and Manage a Five-Liter Empyema in a Rural Clinic in Sierra Leone

1Department of Emergency Medicine, Thomas Jefferson Hospital, Room 239, 1020 Sansom Street, Philadelphia, PA 19107, USA
2Department of Internal Medicine, Baylor College of Medicine, Suite 1100.D, 6620 Main Street, BCM 620, Houston, TX 77030, USA
3Jefferson Medical College, Room 239, 1020 Sansom Street, Philadelphia, PA 19107, USA
4Wellbody Alliance, 100 Doma Street, Koidu, Kono District, Sierra Leone
5Division of Infectious Diseases, Department of Medicine, University of California, 513 Parnassus Avenue, S-380, San Francisco, CA 94131, USA

Received 2 April 2014; Accepted 1 May 2014; Published 22 June 2014

Academic Editor: Aristomenis K. Exadaktylos

Copyright © 2014 Masashi Rotte et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


We report the case of a dyspneic patient with a five-liter pleural empyema that was diagnosed and managed in a resource-limited clinic in a rural part of Sierra Leone. The diagnosis and management of this condition are usually guided by imaging modalities such as X-rays or CT scans. However, these resources may not be available in austere settings in developing countries. Because emergency physicians work in a variety of clinical settings, they should be well versed in the use of portable ultrasound machines to diagnose, treat, and manage many different conditions.